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Saturday, July 22, 2006
Inspiration vs. Controversy
Q: So Funkyman, why haven't you posted in three weeks?
A: Because I blog like I write songs - when I'm inspired.
Some composers write music everyday just to keep themselves in practice. I have tried to do that unsuccessfully. I find rather that my songs are best when the spirit hits me. I think my blogs suffer the same creative fate.
However, I am in Memphis, Tennessee right now, which is where I grew up. I'm staying in a hotel, and I was just driving around the corner to give my daughter a nap, and lo and behold this statue lay before me. Inspiration has struck.
I had read about this in the news but nothing could prepare me for the real thing. Wow.
I am not offended by this statue, but it is inarguably weird. Obviously the pastor of the church who built this thing had a two-fold purpose - to make a statement about America and to spark conversation, whether one likes the statue or not.
I for one am all in favor of conversation. I listen to talk radio everyday, both liberal and conservative, and, after reading, I think it is our most imporatant intellectual activity. Anything that can cause conversation, debate, or even an argument is a worthwhile thing to think about.
However, some things people call inspiration for conversation are really just controversial. And controversy isn't always a positive thing. Controversy can divide people. Controversy can spark hate. Controversy can make people dismiss entire groups of people. For instance "O.K., now I know all Christians are nuts." In these cases, conversation does not occur, but further division and tension between people.
Is this statue for inspiration or controversy? You be the judge. It is a free country and we have freedom of expression and freedom of religion.
We are also free to be stupid.
God bless America.